The Age Of Commerce And Industry

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The Age Of Commerce And Industry

  1. 1. Lecture 3: The Age of Commerce and Industry
  2. 2. Introduction: Prometheus unbound? <ul><li>Revisionist view of industrialization: </li></ul><ul><li>1) scale of technological change </li></ul><ul><li>2) population growth </li></ul><ul><li>3) growth of commerce </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1) The Age of Machinery <ul><li>Britain’s reputation as first industrial nation rests on 3 factors: </li></ul><ul><li>i) timing </li></ul><ul><li>ii) technological innovation </li></ul><ul><li>iii) population growth </li></ul><ul><li>Does this accurately reflect what we now know about the 18 th century economy? </li></ul>
  4. 4. No industrial take off in the 1780s   Estimated rates of growth in Gross National Product for Britain, 1700-1870 (Nicholas Crafts )   National income per capita Period 1.98 1830-1870 0.52 1800-1830 0.17 1760-1800 0.3 1700-60
  5. 6. The age of factories and machinery? <ul><li>William Blake ‘dark satanic mills’, Jerusalem (1804) </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional view = </li></ul><ul><li>technological and mechanical innovation transformed economy </li></ul><ul><li>craftsmanship replaced by unskilled labour </li></ul><ul><li>Huge factories </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Steam engine invented 1712, only 1200 in use in Britain 1800 </li></ul><ul><li>Spinning jenny, spinning mule, powerloom, Jacquard loom = portable and operated by hand </li></ul><ul><li>Britain in 1841: only 10% of cotton mills more than a 100 workers </li></ul><ul><li>1871: average manufactory less than 10 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Big 18 th century factories = state owned, arsenals, dockyards </li></ul>
  7. 8. Persistence of artisan and craft production
  8. 9. ‘ Boom’ regions in 18 th /early 19 th century <ul><li>Britain: Pennines, Black Country </li></ul><ul><li>Continental Europe: Rhine and Meuse valleys, Belgium, Silesia, Northern Italy, Catalonia </li></ul>
  9. 10. 2) Population Growth <ul><li>Expansion of European population and growth of major cities </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) fear of famine </li></ul><ul><li>Findings of Cambridge Population Group for England: </li></ul><ul><li>i) more gradual rate of population growth over 18cy </li></ul><ul><li>ii) changes in ‘nuptiality’ responsible for population growth </li></ul><ul><li>iii) population growth increasingly took place in towns, not countryside </li></ul>
  10. 11. Modernization of agricultural sector <ul><li>Enclosure acts, crop rotation, improved seeds, reclamation of land </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural improvement societies – Arthur Young (1741-1820) </li></ul><ul><li>Population grew because agriculture grew to feed them </li></ul>
  11. 12. 3) Commerce and consumption <ul><li>Increasing emphasis on ‘demand’ side of 18 th century economy (trade and consumption) rather than ‘supply’ (population growth, technology) </li></ul><ul><li>New global economy: fastest growing cities = capitals but also ports: </li></ul><ul><li>Bordeaux, Marseilles, Nantes </li></ul><ul><li>Trade in goods from China and India – re-exported to maritime colonies </li></ul>
  12. 15. New world of luxury goods <ul><li>Britain: tea consumption = 0.32 lb per head in 1730s by 1800 = 1.36lb </li></ul><ul><li>End of century tea, sugar = staples of labouring classes </li></ul>
  13. 16. An industrious revolution? <ul><li>Jan de Vries: desire for luxury goods changes working patterns and household economics </li></ul><ul><li>Hans-Joachim Voth – study of work time in England. </li></ul><ul><li>London: days worked increased from 208 in 1750 to 306 in 1800 </li></ul>
  14. 17. Conclusion: The Age of Commerce <ul><li>Evolution of artisan and craft economies, punctuated by boom regions </li></ul><ul><li>Population change caused by a decline in the age at which people married and decision to have larger families </li></ul><ul><li>Growth of demand for consumer goods </li></ul>

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